WILL NEXT PLAY JUNE 7 VS. N1, G1 CHAMP BUTLER IN GROUP 1 SEMIFINAL AT CALDWELL UNIVERSITY
SPRINGFIELD – Sometimes players, if they’re lucky, get a chance at redemption.
One such player Friday afternoon was Roselle Park sophomore shortstop Angelina Chacon.
Seeking to make up for a tough pop up earlier that she almost caught, with Dayton’s first two runs scoring on the play, Chacon came to the plate in the top of the seventh with a runner on second, one out and the game tied.
Concentrating as hard as she can and as focused as she could be, Chacon lined a shot the other way just inside the line in right field for an opposite field RBI-single, driving in Miranda Hummel.
“I just saw the perfect pitch,” Chacon said. “It was on the outside, where I like it.”
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs and a runner on second and Roselle Park clinging to its one-run lead, freshman right hander Maddie Hummel, Miranda’s younger sister, retired Dayton sophomore slugger Arianna Griffith on a full count ground ball to third to clinch a thrilling championship victory.
Seventh-seeded Roselle Park held on for a hard-fought 4-3 win at top-seeded Dayton in Friday’s North 2, Group 1 softball championship game played at Dayton High School.
“I was glad to get a chance to redeem myself,” Chacon said.
Roselle Park won for the seventh straight time and is now 19-12 overall and 12-2 since a 7-10 start that included a five-game losing streak.
Also winners of the Union County Conference’s Mountain Division championship outright with a league mark of 7-1, the Panthers will next face North 1, Group 1 champion Butler in Tuesday’s scheduled 4 p.m. Group 1 semifinal at Caldwell University.
Second-seeded Butler won at top-seeded Saddle Brook 2-0 in Friday’s N1, G1 championship game at Saddle Brook. Butler blanked all four sectional opponents, also defeating 15th-seeded Cresskill 15-0, seventh-seeded North Warren 7-0 and sixth-seeded New Milford 2-0.
The group finals are scheduled to be played at Kean University’s Cougar Field in Union on June 10-11.
Roselle Park captured its fourth sectional championship under head coach Fran Maggio, at the helm since 1997. Maggio believes it was the program’s seventh sectional title overall, including three when his predecessor, John Wagner, was the head coach.
Maggio won his 317th game Friday and his 20-season record is now 317-183-1 (.634). Wagner also won 317 games as Roselle Park’s softball coach.
ROSELLE PARK SECTIONAL TITLES WON
UNDER HEAD COACH FRAN MAGGIO:
2016: North 2, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 4, Dayton 3 – at Dayton
WP: Maddie Hummel
2010: Central Jersey, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 1, Keansburg 0 – at Roselle Park
WP: Taylor Zengewald
2003: North 2, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 1, Cedar Grove 0 (10 inn.) – at Livingston
WP: Becky Riccitelli
2002: North 2, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 3, Cedar Grove 1 – at Union
WP: Becky Riccitelli
The only two sub-.500 seasons Roselle Park has had under Maggio’s guidance came in his first year in 1997 when the Panthers went 9-14 and last year when Roselle Park finished 6-18, including a 13-3 first round state tournament loss at arch rival Brearley.
Maggio has also led Roselle Park to the 2003 and 2004 Union County Tournament championships and to the 2003 Group 1 state title.
Although Dayton fell a bit short, the Bulldogs produced a standout season that concluded with a 22-5 record. Dayton also placed second in the UCC’s Valley Division with a league mark of 9-3. The Bulldogs also entered Friday’s clash with a six-game winning streak and had won 11 of their previous 12.
In UCT first round play, Roselle Park won at Dayton 4-1 and then four days later in a conference-crossover clash at Roselle Park, Dayton came out on top by the score of 8-2.
Winning Friday’s rubber match was no easy task for the visting Panthers as Roselle Park saw Dayton come back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game at 3-3 with a single run in the bottom of the sixth.
Roselle Park took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Hailey Ortega was bunted to second by Ellen Erickson. Ortega then kept on going and tried to get to third. Not only did she get to the bag, but the throw to try to get her out went past the third baseman, with Ortega getting up and coming home with the game’s first run.
Dayton tried the same play in the bottom of the first, but the runner was thrown out at third.
Roselle Park went ahead 3-0 in the top of the third when Maddie Hummel hit a shot past the Dayton center fielder for a two-run double, scoring Miranda Hummel – who reached on an error – and Chacon, who walked.
Dayton came right back in the bottom of the third when Amanda Lau and Marianna Kwinta reached on the first two walks Maddie Hummel issued. With runners on second and third with two outs, Samantha Santucci hit a pop up to short outfield that Chacon went back on from her shortstop position, got under the ball, used two hands, but just couldn’t hold on to it.
Lau and Kwinta scored to pull Dayton to within 3-2.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth. The inning before, Hummel got out of a bases loaded jam without giving up a run.
Dayton loaded the bases again in the bottom of the sixth, but this time Roselle Park was not as fortunate. With two outs, Lau hit a ball to Panther third baseman Catie Gibson, who turned around and tried to tag the runner out going to third. Gibson missed and as a result courtesy runner Sophia Ritter – running for Griffith who reached base with a one-out single to left – scored to make the score even for the first and only time at 3-3.
After leadoff batter Merissa Gilic led off the top of the seventh by flying out to right, Miranda Hummel also hit the ball that way, but was able to bloop in her hit for an opposite field double. It was the only double of the day.
“Their pitcher was just as strong (at that point) and I was just able to get the hit in,” Miranda said of her key at-bat. “I wanted to get on for the team. I had complete faith in our team and knew that we were going to come out and play hard.”
For Maddie Hummel, getting Griffith out to end the game took everything she had.
“I was strong, but fell behind a bit,” Maddie Hummel said. “For the last out I just had complete focus. I had it before the game.”
Gibson made a fine catch for the first out of the bottom of the seventh on a first-pitch line drive hit by Brianna Koref that Gibson stretched for.
Hummel scattered eight hits – all singles – while striking out one and walking four.
Koref, Dayton’s senior lefty who will continue playing at Post University, tossed a five-hitter, striking out four and walking five.
Roselle Park executed a 5-4-3 inning ending double play to end the fifth moments after junior left fielder Sam Graves made her second fine catch, this one sliding to her right.
Chacon and the Hummel sisters agreed that Friday’s win was great, amazing and simply just special to be a part of.
This is what they had to say about Roselle Park picking it up after a record of 9-11 following its first 20 games: “we had to get our heads back in the game and play how we should play. We were falling apart a bit and then started playing better as a family.”
Maggio described Friday’s win pretty similar to any of the team’s previous 18. His team has now played a school-record 31 games this season.
“This is what we’ve been doing, pretty much, all year,” Maggio said. “We have to claw and scratch for everything we get.
“Dayton does a great job of extending at-bats, which is a credit to their coaching staff. That makes it very frustrating for us at times.”
Dayton third-year head coach Pamela De La Llave felt the same way about her squad as far as how her Bulldogs scrapped for plenty of what they achieved.
“I knew our girls wouldn’t give up,” De La Llave said. “They’ve been clawing at these teams from the very first pitch.
“We were really confident when we tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. After Roselle Park took the lead again we had to refocus. We battled, the girls didn’t’ give up and we had the right part of our lineup up.
“Our program has developed tremendously and we have incredibly talented kids. They love the game of softball, love to practice and compete. That makes it a lot of fun for the coaching staff.”
A young Roselle Park team matured this season playing against tough non-conference competition such as teams like Watchung Hills and Immaculata and Johnson and Governor Livingston.
“To play as many games as we did, the team needed a learning curve and got one,” Maggio said.
Not only can Hummel pitch, but the frosh standout proved again how dangerous she is at the plate.
“Maddie’s a great hitter and you saw that today with the hit she had that drove in the two runs,” Maggio said. “She has a short, compact swing and the velocity of the pitches she faces is not a factor.”
Koref played and pitched her final game of a standout four-year varsity career for Dayton. She left quite an imprint on the program.
According to De La Llave, Koref became the first player in program history to reach 100 hits, while she also had 100 RBI and 150 pitching strikeouts.
“Brianna threw three no-hitters, a perfect game in our first state win and today did everything she could to help her team win,” said De La Llave, a 2004 West Orange graduate who went on to play and star at Marist College. “Brianna had such a great career here.”
NORTH 2, GROUP 1 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
AT DAYTON HIGH SCHOOL
7-Roselle Park (19-12) 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 – 4 5 1
1-Dayton (22-5) 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 – 3 8 3
Roselle Park freshman RH Maddie Hummell
Dayton senior LH Brianna Koref
Roselle Park – Hailey Ortega, Miranda Hummel, Angelina Chacon.
Dayton – Marianna Kwinta (2), Amanda Lau, Holly Wilson, Angelina Cacioppo, Arianna DeMartino, Arianna Griffith, Samantha Santucci.
Roselle Park – Maddie Hummel.
Dayton – None.
Roselle Park – Ellen Erickson.
Dayton – None.
Roselle Park – None.
Dayton – None.
FRIDAY’S STARTING LINEUPS:
7-ROSELLE PARK PANTHERS:
4-Merissa Gilic, sophomore right fielder
1-Miranda Hummel, senior second baseman
24-Angelina Chacon, sophomore shortstop
5-Maddie Hummel, freshman pitcher
16-Sam Graves, junior left fielder
9-Catie Gibson, senior third baseman
8-Hailey Ortega, freshman center fielder
7-Ellen Erickson, senior catcher
13-Erin Kennedy, junior first baseman
2-Amanda Lau, sophomore shortstop
1-Marianna Kwinta, junior center fielder
6-Brianna Koref, senior pitcher
20-Samantha Santucci, senior first baseman
9-Holly Wilson, sophomore right fielder
30-Arianna Griffith, sophomore designated player
4-Karly Fitzpatrick, junior catcher
22-Angelia Cacioppo sophomore left fielder
5-Arianna DeMartino junior second baseman
3-Julianna Delia, senior flex
2016 NORTH 2, GROUP 1 SOFTBALL:
SEEDS: 1-Dayton. 2-Dunellen. 3-Hoboken. 4-Brearley.
5-Ridgefield. 6-Secaucus. 7-Roselle Park. 8-Bloomfield Tech.
9-Weehawken. 10-Technology. 11-North Arlington. 12-Belvidere.
13-Somerset Tech. 14-University Charter. 15-Roselle. 16-Arts.
Dayton 21, Arts 0
Weehawken 2, Bloomfield Tech 0
Ridgefield 4, Belvidere 1
Brearley 15, Somerset Tech 0
Hoboken 13, University Charter 0
North Arlington 10, Secaucus 8
Roselle Park 16, Technology 6
Dunellen 15, Roselle 1
Dayton 8, Weehawken 0
Ridgefield 4, Brearley 1
Hoboken 11, North Arlington 3
Roselle Park 8, Dunellen 1
Dayton 4, Ridgefield 3 (9 inn.)
Roselle Park 2, Hoboken 0
Roselle Park 4, Dayton 3